BOOK REVIEW: THE HARD WAY
In classic detective fiction, authors often provided a summary of facts noted in earlier chapters and pointed out that at a certain point the reader had enough knowledge to answer the questions posed by the crime. In the latest adventure of Child's popular hero Jack Reacher, Child uses a similar tactic - at key moments in the action Reacher stops to consider what he knows to that point; backtracks his steps; reverses his decisions; and moves the action along a different path. As Reacher says repeatedly - doing it the hard way.
The book opens in a New York street cafe, with Reacher enjoying an espresso and noticing a man cross a street, get into an illegally parked car and drive away. Within 24 hours Reacher has been drawn into a kidnap investigation, participating in ransom drops, searching for vanished mercenary soldiers, enlisting the aid of a retired FBI agent, breaking into abandoned buildings, and pondering the significance of a myriad of small details.
Decades of American fiction and popular culture have provided the model for the honest man outside the mainstream of society, with no fixed loyalties, no place to call home, who works as the protector of the underdog and the righter of wrongs. Jack Reacher is solidly in that tradition.
Child delivers another marvelous read.
REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK
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